Seems like a lot of the hostage-takings in Iraq are not what they appear to be...instead of poor, innocent folks (usually women, nowadays) snatched off the mean Bagdad streets as a means of revolt against George W. Bush's minions, we see...a profit-sharing operation. From David Medienkritik:
Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.
Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.
The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.
A spokeswoman at the German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report. The German government is known to have paid ransoms for hostages in the past, but has refused to comment on whether it did so for Osthoff. (...)
Speculation about the circumstances of her kidnapping and release has swirled in the German media since the German government announced on December 18 that she was free.
Two days after her release, the German government freed a Hizbollah member jailed for life in 1985 for the murder of a U.S. Navy diver. Berlin has denied a connection between the two events.
Osthoff herself caused a stir when she said in an interview at the end of December that she did not believe her kidnappers were criminals
Of course not - they weren't criminals, simply Osthoff's business partners. The real tragedy is that our "allies" the Germans essentially did a swap, freeing the Hezbollah member (photo below) who shot and killed an American serviceman during a hijacking (and dumped his body onto the tarmac) to insure the release of a German scammer in cahoots with terrorists. And how will Germany's blood money be spent? Why, to help kill more American soldiers, of course!
Miss Merkel, better get your act together, or W. will stop taking your phone calls too...
And on a side note, CAIR's concern for Jill Carroll, the Christian Science Monitor's freelancer currently be held captive, is self-serving. She's been an anti-war reporter for some time, and while she does not deserve to die for it, I wonder if CAIR would step up for a reporter who was not pro-insurgency. Jill Carroll's dad makes the sad point:
In a statement aired Friday by two major Arab television stations, her father, Jim Carroll, described his daughter as “an innocent woman” and told the captors that sparing her life would “serve your cause more than her death.”
Muslims from Iraq to France have called for release of the journalist, who has reported on the suffering of Iraqis living under U.S. occupation amid a raging insurgency fanned mostly by Sunni Arab militants.
[ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10895039/ ]
Link to David Medienkritik here: http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2006/01/osthoffs_busine.html